The Don is going back to the big game, and the CFL's most cantankerous coach can thank a young Quebeccer by the name of Eric Lapointe for his tickets to Vancouver. Lapointe who spends a fair amount of time on the special teams component of the Als, got a chance to run from the backfield during the Eastern final, and when given the chance took that ball and ran and ran and ran with it.
Placed into the game when starting running back Robert Edwards was injured, Lapointe provided an instructional video on how to be a power back. He bashed his way to over 100 yards in less than a half of football, knocking Argo linemen and Safety's alike to the side as he single handedly brought the Als back from the dead. Lapointe scored three touchdowns in his thirty minutes of fame, knocking the Argos back on their heels and silencing a huge Argo crowd of 44,000 who couldn't believe what they were seeing. Mistake after mistake, gave the Alouettes new life and they took advantage of everything the Argos offered up.
The Argos couldn't stop Lapointe and couldn't score on their own as they blew a first half lead eventually ending up on the short end of a 33-17 defeat. Montreal's defence finally got back on track in the second half shutting down the Argo attack and putting pressure on Argo QB Damon Allen for the remainder of the game.
On the offensive side of the game, when he wasn't dishing the ball off to Lapointe, Al's QB Anthony Calvillo was sitting in his pocket taking his time to find receiver after receiver. The Als offensive line rose to the occasion in this Eastern Final, making the room for Lapointe to bash through the line and giving Calvillo time to pick apart the Argonaut secondary.
The win marks the third time in four years that the Alouettes will head for a Grey Cup Sunday appearance and it wouldn't be a Montreal Grey Cup without their old nemesis the Edmonton Eskimos.
Edmonton's defence is one of the most respected units in the CFL but they could get a work out next Sunday back at BC Place. If Edwards is ready they have to deal with a rusher who was number three in the CFL this year with 1,199 yards to his credit. If he can't suit up, then Lapointe gets the ball and as the Argos learned to their regret, once he gets up a head of steam he can't be stopped.
Many we're expecting a Toronto/BC showdown the last Sunday in November, turns out the consolation prize may be more entertaining than that main event would have been.